John's revalidation story

Last Updated 26/05/2021

John is the Head of Undergraduate Studies at a nursing school in Scotland.

When John first heard about revalidation, it's fair to say his reaction was mixed.

"I didn't know whether the move to revalidation was a response to the Francis report, or a genuine chance for nurses and midwives to empower themselves professionally. I soon realised that it could be both, and that actually being a response to instances of poor care wasn’t a bad thing."

Practice setting

As an educational lead John wasn't just going through revalidation for the first time himself, he was responsible for helping other people get through the process too. That might have seemed daunting, but the more John learned about the process the more he realised there was nothing to worry about.

"You soon realise that revalidation is largely about recording the things you do already," he says.

Practice hours

When it comes to the practice hours, you might assume that as John doesn't spend time directly caring for patients he might struggle to meet this requirement, but that wasn't the case.

"The reality is that I teach nurses and I manage those who also teach nurses. The practice hours requirement isn't just about providing direct care, it's about the entire scope of your practice," he says. "This one was an easy requirement to meet because of the work I do, day in day out."


As an educator, John also found the requirement relating to continuing professional development simple to meet.

"We're lucky enough to have our own annual conference," says John. "We also have regular training days, workshops and we travel to educational conferences."

Meeting the requirement that 20 of the 35 hours must include an element of participatory learning wasn't an issue for John, as the majority of his CPD is undertaken with colleagues.


John says he managed to collect the five pieces of feedback in three different ways.

"The first was the most simple. I used feedback from annual appraisals with my line manager over my three year registration period. The second was feedback that I had been given from students, which as you can imagine lecturers get rather frequently! The third was a piece of feedback from a fellow teacher."

Reflective accounts

It's one thing for others to reflect on John's practice, but what about his own reflections?

"This was one of the most asked about elements of the whole process," says John. "As educators, we constantly teach about the importance of academic reflection, considering the status quo and asking questions. However, this requirement isn't about that type of reflection, it's about considering your own practice, looking at what you have learned and linking it to the Code. That took a bit of getting used to."

Reflective discussion

For his reflective discussion, John thought very practically.

"I held my reflective discussion during my annual appraisal with my line manager, who then also acted as my confirmer. This kept everything very simple; I’m a pragmatist and this was the easiest thing to do!" he says. John found the process to be beneficial, as well as straightforward. "The reflective accounts provided a real structure to the conversation, which was really positive," he says.


In his role as Head of Undergraduate Studies, John acted as confirmer to the lecturers he managed.

"This was particularly valuable," he reflects. "The role meant I was able to have conversations with staff members that I might not otherwise have had."

Now that he has been through the process, what is his overriding thought on revalidation?

"It's really doable," he says. "In higher education we are quite used to processes like this, so that made it easier, but I have to say the guidance from the NMC was very helpful too.

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